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Predictive Policing Essay

1297 words - 6 pages

CIS 500
APRIL 21, 2014

Compare and contrast the application of information technology (IT) to optimize police departments’ performance to reduce crime versus patrols on the street.
The process of using the application of information technology (IT) to optimize police departments’ performance is known as Predictive Policing. “Predictive policing, in essence, is taking data from disparate sources, analyzing them and then using the results to anticipate, prevent and respond more effectively to future crime.” (Pearsall, 2010) This technology allows police to predict the problem areas and place officers in those areas in an effort to ...view middle of the document...

, 2003).
Input – Information is gathered from the community via calls and reports and well as basic knowledge and reports that departments have based on past criminal activity for various areas. The information is then input into the COMPSTAT Geographic Information System.
Processing- Data gathered from reliable sources is processed in this Geographic Information System to be analyzed so that potential criminal activity can be predicted and the area where it is likely to happen.
Output- Based on the data processed and analyzed, a report is then generated to inform law enforcement of the high risk crime areas, which enables them to position officers in these areas in an effort to prevent the crime from occurring.
Feedback- The feedback would be the response of the community as far as how they feel the crime rate has been lowered as wells analysis of crime level by way of police reports and statistics like reported in Richmond, VA. “Every New Year's Eve, Richmond, Va., would experience an increase in random gunfire. Police began looking at data gathered over the years, and based on that information; they were able to anticipate the time, location and nature of future incidents. On New Year's Eve 2003, Richmond police placed officers at those locations to prevent crime and respond more rapidly. The result was a 47 percent decrease in random gunfire and a 246 percent increase in weapons seized. The department saved $15,000 in personnel costs.” (Pearsall, 2010)

Determine how information systems have allowed police departments that implement tools such as COMPSTAT to respond to crime faster.
Information systems such as COMPSTAT have allowed police departments to respond to crime faster by providing them with information gathered from various reliable sources such as community involvement, previous criminal activity, and reports from data basis at the departments. The information provided by this system allows agencies to predict the area thus already having officers on site to respond or be in the general vicinity as opposed to being in a random location. This type of fast response was proven in Santa Cruz, California. “Two women were taken into custody after they were discovered peering into cars in a downtown parking garage in Santa Cruz, Calif. One woman was found to have outstanding warrants; the other was carrying illegal drugs. But the presence of the police officers in the garage that Friday afternoon in July was anything but ordinary: They were directed to the parking structure by a computer program that had predicted that car burglaries were especially likely there that day. In July, Santa Cruz began testing the prediction method for property crimes like car and home burglaries and car thefts. So far, said Zach Friend, the police department’s crime analyst, the program has helped officers pre-empt several crimes and has led to five arrests. (Goode, 2011)
Apply the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis (SWOT...

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